The wisdom of ‘love thy neighbor’

Sep 24th …. beautiful morning as I walked Neo. The moon was a tiny but bright sliver; the air was soft in the predawn hours. Yesterday, I had the Laver Cup doubles match on in the background while I did my zoom meetings, where Federer and Nadel teamed up for Federer’s last match as he moved into retirement. Of course I had to tune into the match, if only because it was the eve of my mom’s birthday. She loved watching tennis, and would have loved seeing them team up for the occasion.

Happy Birthday Mom

Today I will celebrate my mom’s birthday spending time doing some of of my mom’s favorite things – including enjoying mcdonald’s french fries, and doing an evening Krispy Kreme run, hoping that they have the “Hot Now” sign lit up on the outside.


This past week was busy. It started with a conference in LA, then off to DC, back Thursday night followed by a jampacked Friday at the office.

I did the conference in LA with Steve Watkin and Kylie Campbell, and did the DC meetings with Nicole Parra.

One of the highlights for me in DC was seeing the Herbert C. Hoover Building – the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Commerce – located across from The Ellipse in front of The White House.

When it was completed in 1932, it was the largest office building in the world. Its length of 1,050 feet exceeds the U.S. Capitol by 300 feet. It contains 3,311 rooms. It took more than 11 million bricks and 16,400 tons of steel to complete.

I was awestruck by this amazing feat of architecture, which covers more than 8 acres and 3 city blocks. One other amazing factoid about this building – its expansion and contraction features are such that on the hottest day in summer, the structure may be three inches longer than on the coldest day in winter.

I also attended a reception at the House of Sweden – a gorgeous Scandinavian building that houses the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of Iceland, office space and an Event Center that features conference and exhibition halls.

House of Sweden

Finally, when I’m in DC, I always remember to take a walk to the Washington Monument – which, at 555 feet, was the tallest structure in the world from its completion in 1884 until the Eiffel Tower overtook it in 1889. Today, it remains the world’s tallest obelisk, as well as the world’s tallest predominantly stone structure.

I love Washington DC!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

Good morning, friends.
It is September 24, 2022 – My mom’s birthday
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

First Home Volleyball Match draws “Sea of Red” for Sweep of Columbia

PC Volleyball had a sea of support this past Wednesday evening for their first home game with spectators since before the pandemic. A large crowd of students and community members packed the stands to share their Pirate Pride as PC hit the court.

The Pirates returned to their home turf after a win on the road against West Hills Coalinga last Friday.  They impressed the large home crowd with an impressive three-set sweep against the Columbia College Claim Jumpers. They are now 2-0 in the Central Valley Conference. Their overall record stands at 5-6.

The Pirates showed solid play taking game one 25-19. and game two 25-13. The Pirates third game had the Pirates and the Claim jumpers trading some vicious hits, and the lead changed several times until PC pulled off the win 25-17.

PC welcomes another award winning author as Writer & Poets Series Returns to Campus  

Award winning author Gary Soto will join us on the PC Campus for a discussion on his work on Monday, October 3rd from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the PC College Forum.

Gary Soto was born and raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of thirteen poetry collections for adults, most notably NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Award and the National Book Award.

Mr. Soto has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize and the California Library Association’s John and Patricia Award [twice], in addition to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts [also twice], and the Guggenheim Foundation.

For ITVS, he produced the film “The Pool Party,” which received the 1993 Andrew Carnegie Medal. He was selected for his work with young people as the NBC Person of the Week in 1995. In 1999 he was honored with the Human and Civil Rights Award from the American Education Association, the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and the PEN Center West Book Award for his young adult short story collection PETTY CRIMES.

Several of his books have been translated into French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Join us Monday Oct 3 in the Porterville College Forum for Mr. Soto’s presentation.

Cerro Coso Community College

Veterans Resource Center

Jenny Frank, Jessica Kawelmacher, Addy Windsor, Erin Wingfield, and Eric Hansen in BC’s new Veterans Resource Center

Our veterans’ make sacrifices for our nation, but education does not have to be one of them! 

Jessica Kawelmacher and Addy Windsor from Cerro Coso’s Military and Veterans’ Services Center traveled to Bakersfield College’s Veterans Resource Center on Wednesday, 9/14, for a districtwide collaboration team meeting.

They had the opportunity to tour BC’s campus and new Science and STEM building, along with getting hands-on experience with the new robotics lab.

Bakersfield, Cerro Coso, and Porterville Colleges met as a team to collaborate and develop strategies to help veterans and military-connected students across the district and connect them with resources in all our service areas.

Bishop Union High School’s “Back to School & Club Rush”

On September 14th Sarah Land and Kim Blackwell from Bishop ESCC attended Bishop Union High School’s “Back to School & Club Rush” night.

It was a great opportunity to talk with local high school students and their parents about Cerro Coso’s concurrent and regular enrollment classes.

Outreach events like this help the college to connect with a much larger audience, build trust and awareness, and add credibility to our brand.  It increases awareness and helps us network and engage with the communities we service. 

Current high school students who want to take college courses at Cerro Coso while still in high school do not pay the unit enrollment fee.  The college offers both dual and concurrent enrollment classes that allow them to accumulate credits prior to entering college so they will be able to graduate from college early.

Blackwell Named Director of Cerro Coso Eastern Sierra Center

Kim Blackwell has been selected as the new Director of Cerro Coso Community College’s Eastern Sierra College Center (ESCC) in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes.

“Cerro Coso Community College has been a large part of my adult life,” she said.  “I started as a 1st generation Cerro Coso college student, before transferring home to Minnesota to finish my degree in Social Work. I found employment right after graduation and spent time as an at-risk youth counselor, special education teacher, and social worker before rounding back to Cerro Coso to work as an Educational Advisor.”  July 2022 marked her 15th year in Counseling at the college.

As for ESCC, it serves all the communities from Lone Pine to Coleville, which from end-to-end is a 3-hour drive when the weather is good!

Blackwell replaces 16-year Director Deanna Ing Campbell who moved into a full-time faculty position at the college this fall to pursue her passion for teaching.

Bakersfield College

Tickets on Sale for the 38th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the 38th Annual Kern Shakespeare Festival, this year presenting Romeo & Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost in repertory in the Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theatre!

Get your tickets today – only $10 for BC faculty, staff, and students:

“For our 38th season, we’ve decided to focus on love! And who can’t use a little more love in their lives nowadays? We are excited to be back outdoors under the stars where our students can share their talents and hard work with the Bakersfield community,” said KSF Artistic Director Brian J. Sivesind. “We also look forward to officially bringing cold weather back to Bakersfield, which KSF tends to do every year!”

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Directed by Cody Ganger

October 5, 7, 13, 15

King Ferdinand and his best friends need to grow up! Just as they’ve sworn a three-year vow to focus on their studies and not even look upon a woman, the French Princess and her best friends show up at the king’s court. In classic Shakespearean fashion, the young people all fall in love with each other at first sight… but is it the kind of love that lasts? One of Shakespeare’s lesser known comedies, Love’s Labour’s Lost looks at the excitement and joy of friendship, young love, and what it means to grow up.

Romeo & Juliet

Directed by Brian J. Sivesind

October 6, 8, 12, 14

The streets of Verona run red with the stains of a long and deadly dispute. Amidst the chaos, two star-crossed lovers risk everything to be together. In defiance of their feuding families, Romeo and Juliet chase a future full of peace, passion, and joy. But will love be enough to save them from these violent ends? Featuring some of Shakespeare’s most beloved poetry, this timeless tale of romance, desire, and danger remains as fresh as ever more than 400 years after its debut.

Golf for BC Horticulture Scholarships

The Kern County California Landscape Contractors Association is having a golf tournament fundraiser for  BC Horticulture Scholarships.  Come out and have fun with Ralph Bailey and friends! It’s all for student scholarships and bragging rights.

The event will take place Friday, October 21st, with an 8 am start time.

Enjoy a relaxing Friday morning on the links at Sundale Country Club.  Lunch and prizes provided. Cost is $140/player or $525/foursome, with prizes for longest drive, closest to the hole, and winning team.Register at

Renegade Spotlight on Mathematics Faculty and Students

Joshua Lewis, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Mathematics at BC, has shared some exciting news with me. Under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Brown, undergraduate mathematics researchers have earned over $20K in awards; eight students across several research groups had work accepted and won awards at a conference, each receiving $900; and roughly 30 BC students have had research accepted for publication. 

A recent BC grad, Annabelle Recinos, will be recognized for her research work on a new measure for machine learning. She will receive this honor as part of a prestigious national fellowship that recognizes new leaders in STEM research. Congratulations to Joshua, Jonathan, and the whole math department, as well as these ambitious students, for their accomplishments. It is inspirational to see our Renegade Family achieving so much and changing the world in the process.

Our Pantry is Poppin’!

The Office of Student Life is excited to share that the Renegade Pantry is poppin’ once again. Since the beginning of the semester, the pantry has seen over 3500 individuals come through our doors. In the last week, we had over 1000 visitors – a pre-pandemic number we are excited to see again.

To continue to best serve students, the pantry will be expanding weekly hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to stay open until 7:00pm.

California Climate and Energy Forum

Hundreds of state and municipal policy leaders joined clean energy advocates at the 13th annual California Climate and Energy Forum this week in San Diego. This year’s event, which was organized by three of California’s Regional Energy Networks and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, was focused on Accelerating Climate Action and Advancing Justice.

Kern was there in full force – Norma Rojas-Mora moderated the panel with Dave Teasdale, Exec Director of the 21st Century Energy Institute; Traco Matthews, CAPK Chief Program Officer; and Christine Viterelli, City of Arvin grant writer.

This year’s Climate and Energy forum featured introductory remarks by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, and the keynote plenary session featured a discussion with leaders from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the Strategic Growth Council.

In the News

Create More 4-Year Community College Degrees

I wanted to share my piece that was published in Inside Higher Ed. It looks at the important role that baccalaureate degrees at community colleges can play in addressing income inequality.

“Community colleges enroll large numbers of students of color and students from lower-income families. Having easy access to an affordable, high-quality baccalaureate degree is essential to economic and social mobility, making the American dream less elusive.”

Remember the wisdom of ‘love thy neighbor’

And Nick Strobel does it again with a beautifully written community voices essay in the Bakersfield Californian.

Church was a central part of our lives (and still is). … the love your neighbor as you love yourself commandment in Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31, and Luke 10:25-28 (one of only two commandments given by Jesus); feeding the 5,000 in Mark 6:30-44, Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-13; reward for hospitality in Matthew 10:40-42, Luke 14: 7-14, and Hebrews 13:2; “faith without works is dead” of James 2:14-26; etc. … The idea that “it’s not all about me” is part of our upbringing and continued practice in adulthood.

Jack Hernandez Lecture on Sep 29th

Jack Hernandez Phronesis Award and Jack Hernandez Lecture   I invite you to attend the inaugural Jack Hernandez Lecture Dinner on Thursday, September 29th at 5:00pm.  Dr. Nick Strobel, recipient of the district-wide Jack Hernandez Phronesis award will deliver the lecture at the Levan Center, Bakersfield College.  The lecture will be streamed to both Cerro Coso Community College and Porterville College.   Jack’s daughter Laura is traveling to Bakersfield from the east coast to be here for the inaugural lecture.  

Please RSVP to attend the dinner & lecture by contacting  Tarina Perry  Seating is limited so email Tarina right away.   

More information can be found at:

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

A Kern CCD team supported the Kern County Fair “A Night of Oil” Person of the Year Dinner event recognizing Les Clark, Executive Vice President of the Independent Oil Producers Association (IOPA). Kern CCD Trustee Romeo Agbalog, Sonia Gomez, Sara Sullivan, Tony Cordova, Kern CCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Liz Rozell, Norma Rojas, and Steven Watkin all turned out for the event.

Kern CCD and Bakersfield College were well represented at the Women’s and Girls’ Fund Annual Luncheon where Michelle “Mickey” Hay and Rhea Sharma were honored with the Judy McCarthy Women’s Philanthropy Award.  Congratulations to the grantees and award recipients.

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib,

“What a treat to have award winning author @reynagrande inspiring our students @PCollegePirates Thank you for sharing your life journey and writings about immigration, trauma, family separation, and your @CalCommColleges experience. #WritersPoetsSpearkerSeries #HispanicHeritage

From the Cerro Coso Learning Assistance Center:

Professor Bonner is in the Math Lab at the Ridgecrest campus. If you haven’t started using the Math and Writing Labs to support your studies, check them out! Learn more by learning with others.

From PC Administration of Justice Instructor Jeff Jacobs:

Porterville College’s Law Enforcement Academy Recruits standing tall and proud before class this semester. @PCollegePirates #porterville #portervillecollege #portervillecollegejustice #lawenforcement #policeacademy #tulare #gopcpirates #policetraining

And check out Carlos Medina and Isabelle Pastor from Bakersfield College Industrial Automation on Do The Math Bakersfield!


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Sep 11th reminds us to celebrate our country

It was 235 years ago today – September 17, 1787 – that the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. On February 29, 1952, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day, commemorating that historic signing.

Of the 42 delegates who attended most of the Constitutional Convention meetings, only 39 signed the final document. Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, refused to sign, partially due to the lack of a Bill of Rights.

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution – the Bill of Rights – was created two years later, on September 25, 1789. It was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Benjamin Franklin was the oldest signer, at 81. The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, who was 26.

Six of our founding fathers signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution: George Read, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, and James Wilson.

George Washington established the first Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 26, 1789 – as a day for the public to give thanks for the constitution.

And today, I am thankful for the Nineteenth Amendment – The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Check out this quick read ….. my Sep 5th Viewpoint publication in the Community College Journal reflecting on Women’s Equality Day

Good morning, friends.
It is September 17, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage with Writer & Poet Speaker Series 

We are extremely excited to welcome bestselling author Reyna Grande for the PC Writer & Poet Speaker Series.  Ms. Grande will join students, faculty and the community on Tuesday, September 20th from 11:00am to Noon.  

Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, where she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The sequel to that novel, A Dream Called Home, was released in 2018. She will discuss her work and her unique perspective on the “American Experience” via her virtual presentation on the 20th

Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing with Butterflies, and A Ballad of Love and Glory, and the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival and New Beginnings.  

She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and a Latino Spirit Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards. 

The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award in 2017. Writing about immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey, Reyna’s work has appeared in The New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, among others. In March 2020, she was a guest on the Oprah’s Book Club television special. 

This event will be delivered via zoom and all are invited. You can register for this event in advance at

PC Celebrates Hispanic Heritage  

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage each year from September 15th through October 15th.

This month-long celebration, started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and then expanded to a 30-day period in 1988, is used to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success and change for our society.

Join us on the web to explore curated galleries, museum links, infographics, and learn fun facts about the history of this important month (i.e. why does it start in the middle of the month?). You can visit our celebration page here: You can also visit for more info on this year’s national celebrations.

Porterville College CHAP Celebrates Constitution Day with “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis”

The Porterville College Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) continues it’s celebration of 20 years with an all new Fall Schedule of programming. The 2022-2023 theme is The Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene Epoch is an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems. The 2022-2023 calendar of CHAP events all cover topics related to the Anthropocene – beginning with our first event of the season on September 19th.

Join us on Constitution Day, September 19th from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, as CHAP hosts “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis,” a lecture by Leslie Pelon, Adjunct Instructor of History at Porterville College. Ms. Pelon’s lecture will explore the history of the Constitution through the lens of the Vice Presidency. The lecture will be held inside the PC Theater, located on the Porterville College Campus.

Leslie Pelon spent her childhood in the Bay area until moving to Porterville in 2000. She attended Westfield, Bartlett, and Porterville High School, and took classes at Porterville College. After graduating from Porterville High School, she went to Brigham Young University where she studied History and English literature. After ten years in Utah and Maine, she returned to make her permanent home in Porterville with her husband and two children.

She spent several years substitute teaching at Porterville High School while pursuing a Master’s in History from Southern New Hampshire University. Her thesis focused on women preachers of the Second Great Awakening. Since earning her Master’s Degree, she has been teaching History classes at Porterville College.

  • Event: “The Vice Presidency: A Built-In Constitutional Crisis”
  • Date: Monday, September 19, 2022
  • Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Where: Porterville College Theater (100 E. College Avenue, Porterville, 93257)

For more information on the CHAP program, you can visit

PC Cross Country teams open season at Fresno Invitational 

PC Cross Country Teams

The 2022 Porterville College men’s and women’s cross-country seasons are officially underway.

This past Saturday, the Pirates competed against over 15 of the state’s top teams at the Fresno Invitational. The event, hosted by Clovis Community College, was held at Woodward Park in Fresno.

On the women’s side, freshman Krissta Kunze competed in her first collegiate event for the Pirates and finished up the 3.1-mile course with a time of 28.44.2, good for 65th place overall.

The Pirates men’s team had six competing at the event. Leading the way was freshman Adrian Martinez. He cleared the four-mile course with a team-best time of 26:37.6 to finish in 97th place overall.

He was followed by freshman Peter Gomez at 29:40.3, freshman Ty Robinson at 30:47.1, freshman Sal Renteria at 31:05.8, freshman Brandon Pulido at 38:14.9, and sophomore Carlos Rodriguez at 38:14.9.

Up next for the Pirates is the Bakersfield Invitational / SoCal Preview meet on Friday, Sep. 23. The event is set for a 9 a.m. start at the Kern County Soccer Park in Bakersfield.

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Saddened by Loss of Dr. Mary Retterer

I am sharing this note from Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock on the recent passing of former Cerro Coso President Dr. Mary Retterer:

It is with genuine sadness that I share the passing of former president Dr. Mary E. Retterer on Thursday,

September 8, 2022 in Gardnerville, Nevada.

Dr. Retterer became Cerro Coso’s sixth president on July 1, 2007 after serving as interim president for one year. 

She retired in June of 2010.

I am sad that I will not have the pleasure of meeting this dynamic leader whose’ wealth of experience in community colleges had such a positive impact on this college, and the communities we serve.  It is my understanding she assisted the college in receiving a $250,000 grant from the State of California to strengthen Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through “Project Lead the Way,” in partnership with Sierra Sands Unified School District and the Naval Air Weapons Center, to meet the future workforce needs of our region. She was here when the Mammoth Lakes Foundation broke ground for student housing, and when we held our first Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony. Dr. Retterer led the college through a very important accreditation review, and created a collaboration between the college and the IWV Water District on a large scale water conservation project on the Ridgecrest Campus.  She was an expert fundraiser and started many of the college’s signature events like the Star Party and Denim and Diamonds to help support the college and our students.  Her accomplishments were many and her legacy will live on is so many ways at Cerro Coso Community College.

She once referred to Cerro Coso as a “diamond in the dessert” and stated how proud she was of the people within as she looked to an exciting future here.  She noted your tremendous creativity and looked to “harness that creativity and turn it into growth and improved service to all of our communities.”  She was an essential part of our institution’s history, and spent a lifetime being an influential advocate for education.  I had hoped to personally meet Dr. Retterer at some of our 50th Anniversary activities beginning next year, and am sad that I will not get that opportunity. 

Like myself, Dr. Retterer was a former community college student and earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Craft Hills College, California.  She transferred to California State University, San Bernardino, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration with a concentration in accounting; and a Master of Business Administration Degree, with a concentration in accounting.  She earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Administration, Community College Leadership Program from the University of Texas at Austin.   

An active member of the local community, Dr. Retterer served as a Rotarian on the China Lake Rotary Club and a member of the local Elks lodge.

We honor the legacy of Dr. Retterer, and mourn her loss alongside her husband Richard, family, and friends.    A celebration of life will be held for Dr. Retterer at the Elks Lodge in Gardnerville, Nevada next week.   

Ridgecrest commemorates 9/11 with Parade of 1000 Flags

More than 1000 community patriots took to the streets of Ridgecrest on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at 10 a.m. carrying flags in memory of those lost and first responders of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001.

This signature event draws people from near and far and is noted to be one of the most patriotic events of 9/11 commemorated anywhere.  Cerro Coso was proud to show their support with a large showing of students, employees, and family members carrying flags. 

Flag bearers were led by Travis Combs, Bagpiper, and the Burroughs High School band, followed by a host of VIPs which included: NAWC Grand Marshall Captain Jeremy Vaughan, Captain Weinwright, Director Harlin Kooima and elected officials Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblyman Vince Fong, District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Sheriff Donny Youngblood, Supervisor Phillip Peters, and Mayor Eric Bruen.  

Many of the students and children in the parade were not yet born at the time of the attacks, but they need to know and understand the significance of one of the darkest days in America’s history. The annual parade helps etch that into their memories.

The Parade of 1000 Flags began with a march down China Lake Boulevard to City Hall where the flags were posted in Freedom Park followed by a program at the gazebo.

A signature event for Ridgecrest, the Parade of 1000 Flags is a strong symbol and image of what the community stands for: a patriotic community with a strong presence of the US Navy and the role it supports in the defense of our country.

A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night a 7 p.m. in the park.  Kern County Fire Division Chief Bill Steers presented the Bell Ceremony and Fireman’s Prayer.  Several hundred attendees lit candles at the close of the program as a tribute to those who were lost. 

United we stood as 9/11 responders toiled and families searched in 2001.

We will never forget!

Hernandez and Gomez to lead this year’s SGCC

The Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) are ready for a great year!  Meet the new president and vice president of the SGCC for the 2022-2023 academic year, Justin Hernandez and Fatima Chavez Gomez. 

Justin is serving as president of the SGCC this year.He is currently pursuing his degree in psychology and plans to transfer and continue his education next fall.  “This year I plan to make a positive difference and to continue having a welcoming environment to both the campus and to student life.”

“I joined student government to get involved in our campus as well as get an experience from this,” said SGCC vice president Fatima.  “I plan to make this year a fun and an exciting year where students can learn what our campus is all about!”  Fatima is majoring in history and also plans to transfer to continue in that field of study.

Cerro Coso Community College students can purchase a Coyote Card sticker each semester at the time of registration. The Coyote Card sticker is placed on each students identification card. These funds support the Student Activities Program which benefits the college and contributes to the welfare of all students. Possession of a Coyote Card sticker may qualify an individual to serve as a club representative or a student Senator, to hold office, to join college student organizations, and to receive student discounts at various merchants in the community. Members are also entitled to reduced or free admission to various on-campus and off-campus events sponsored by the SGCC.

The SGCC gives students the opportunity to foster skills like leadership, communication, teamwork, organization, and public speaking – all skills need to succeed in college.  Not only do these skills help students in class but they are also valuable if students are interested in co-op programs and on job applications.

Students wanting to civically engage and share their own voice on campus are encouraged to join the SGCC.  Contact Tyson Huffman at for more information.   

Constitution Day Lecture by Professor Jones

In September of 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution.

Every year, the Student Government of Cerro Coso (SGCC) commemorates that historic day by hosting an event to inform students on the importance of the Constitution and the freedoms our founding fathers secured for us. 

This year the SGCC hosted a lecture by Political Science Professor Matt Jones on the thought provoking question “Is the Constitution Racist and Outdated”.  An argument that has divided many.  Dr. Jones shared the arguments he believes to be the case and presented evidence in support of that belief. 

Thank you to Dr. Jones and the SGCC for providing this thought provoking lecture. 

Couch Recognized by KCCD Management Association

Cerro Coso Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Dr. Chad Houck and Lisa Couch, Budget Analyst.

For the month of September, the Kern Community College District (KCCD) Management Association unanimously voted to acknowledge and recognize the work, leadership, and achievements of Lisa Couch, Budget Analyst at Cerro Coso Community College.

Couch’s nominating colleagues wrote, “Lisa has provided leadership and stability in times of great need, both past and present,” said Bonita Steele, Management Association president. “Lisa supported the college community during campus renovations – always a tough gig – and through two major earthquakes. In addition to the COVID 19 pandemic and even without these extraordinary events, Lisa has been a steadfast collaborative colleague known throughout the district for her expertise.  More recently, Lisa supported Business Services when two vice president of finance positions became vacant.   She helped Bakersfield College and Porterville College complete their tentative budgets, assisted them in wrapping up the prior fiscal year, coordinated and collaborated with classified and management staff, and assisted the Interim CFO with the district tentative budget process.  She is now helping to onboard and train two new vice presidents of finance.  For her expertise and collegiality the Management Association is proud to honor Lisa Couch as our September 2022 Manager of the Month.”

“On behalf of all members of the KCCD Management Association, we express our ongoing appreciation for Lisa’s leadership,” concluded Steele.

The KCCDMA is comprised of all managers, administrators, supervisors, and confidential management staff by virtue of their position. The Association is self-funded and functions separately from District or college operations. The Association conveys the needs and interests of its members, as well as provides ongoing professional development and networking opportunities.

Bakersfield College

Transfer Day 2022

Bakersfield College hosted Transfer Day this week in the Renegade Conference Room on the Panorama Campus. Students had the opportunity to review information booths of more than 40 colleges and universities from around the country.

This is the first time Transfer Day has been in-person since 2020, and the response was incredible. Hundreds of students visited throughout the day and were able to talk to school representatives, get swag, and walk away with valuable resources that can further their academic journey.

BC Participates in Kern County College Night

Kern County College Night took place earlier this week and BC was well represented throughout the event. Thousands of prospective students came to Mechanics Bank Arena to preview several colleges and universities.

Bakersfield College had a strong presence throughout the night with more than 100 staff and administrators on hand to provide support, answer questions, and hand out promotional materials and swag! The BC Drumline and Cheer Squad were also there to lend their talents and enthusiasm to the evening. 

Industrial Automation Program to host Manufacturing Day 2022

The Industrial Automation Program at BC is hosting Manufacturing Day on Friday, September 30th from 9:30AM-1:30PM in the Simonsen Outdoor Theater. They have invited local high schools and community members to come and experience this unique event which will include presentations on manufacturing-related programs, laboratory tours, and hands-on demonstrations.

Attendees will also get to interact with industry employers who will be available throughout the event at their information booths. They will showcase various products and machines, share resources and answer questions. Attendees will also be able to register with various participating employers to tour an industrial facility on select dates through the end of October.

For registration information, please visit the Creators Wanted Manufacturing Day webpage.

Nursing Students Meet with Local Healthcare Employers

Several of BC’s Registered Nursing students had multiple opportunities to meet with local healthcare employers to learn more about the industry and the nursing hiring process.  On August 30th, several healthcare employers came to BC’s Panorama Campus and gave presentations about their company, hiring expectations, and information on how to apply.  There were representatives from Adventist Health, Bakersfield Heart Hospital, Kern Medical Supply, Dignity Health Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospitals.

On September 6th, more than 40 Registered Nursing students had a meet and greet with Kern Medical Center. The event consisted of a hospital tour, nursing residency program presentations, a nurse panel and an overview on the hiring process.

Panorama Creative Music Summit 2022

The Bakersfield College Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Programs are proud to present the 6th annual Panorama Creative Music Summit. The event will feature two weeks of workshops, masterclasses and free public performances featuring world-renowned musicians and industry professionals.

All are invited to the two free public concerts on September 28th and October 5th at 6:00PM in the Simonsen Indoor Theater.  There will be special performances from Grammy winning performers, producers, composers and singer/songwriters. If you are a fan of live music, then you will definitely want to attend one or both of these exclusive performances.

For information and performance schedules, please visit the Panorama Creative Music Summit event page.

In the News

KCCD’s new energy lab looks to support ‘Carbon Valley’

Did you catch this front page story by John Cox in Monday’s edition of The Bakersfield Californian about the California Renewable Energy Laboratory?

Part of the vision has already been outlined, with plans for three centers of excellence devoted to clean energy and grid resilience, clean transportation and the California Resources Corp. Carbon Management Institute.

Each is expected to perform a range of educational activities, workforce development and “technology transfer” efforts that will commercialize new technologies. There also will be “living laboratory” demonstration projects to include a carbon-capture project at Bakersfield College and a microgrid system at BC’s Weill Institute downtown.

Community Voices: BC helps students develop a vibrant community

BC’s Student Government President and Kern CCD student trustee Shehrazad Barraj wrote this Community Voices piece for The Bakersfield Californian about her experiences in student government.

“I learned a lot, not just about parliament, but about myself, and my community, and all WE can do for our community. With my time in BCSGA, I went from being nervous and reserved, to being outgoing, to being a student leader and team player! The BC community is here to support, sustain and encourage us on our journey to success.”

Shehrazad Barraj

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Representatives from Bakersfield College and KCCD District office attended the HOPE Latina Empowerment Conference on Friday in Bakersfield. The day’s activities included discussions on estate planning, renewable energy, and education accessibility. Early College counselor Josie Guillen gave the lunchtime remarks on dual enrollment and Early College. The day closed with this group picture of the BC and KCCD attendees. 

Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez shared these photos from the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Mexican Independence Day celebration:

Cerro Coso President Sean Hancock shared this photo:

Grateful for having heard from Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Dr. Amy Lloyd at this morning’s keynote for the Rural Community College Alliance! Joined by Corey Marvin, Heather Ostash, and Chad Houck.

Porterville College President Claudia Habib has been sharing updates from her experience with UC Davis’ Wheelhouse Institute:

“Thank you UCDWheelhouse for providing a great learning experience. I Enjoyed every minute, every robust conversation, reflexión, camaraderie and laughter with these amazing leaders.

Check out this post from the BC Cheer Team:

We are honored to showcase Sally Hill (Payne) as our first “Where are They Now? BC Cheer Alumni Edition,” alumni cheerleader!! Swipe to learn a little more about this lovely lady!! We LOVE you Sally


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Grand Opening of STEM Building – Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Before I jump into my blog, let me take a moment to thank you for voting Yes on J.


On Thursday, the world turned its eyes to Balmoral Castle in Scotland as we learned that Queen Elizabeth II was in her final moments. She was one of history’s longest serving monarchs, having ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 – making her reign 70 years, 214 days. Only France’s Louis XIV had a longer reign, at 72 years, 110 days.

An analysis of data from the CIA World Factbook indicates that more than 90% of the current world population was born after Queen Elizabeth II was coronated, and she had been the only British monarch they ever knew.

It is hard to overstate how long her reign lasted. During her time on the throne, there were 15 prime ministers – 12 men, and 3 women. Closer to home, the United States saw 14 presidents during her reign. Queen Elizabeth II met 13 of them (Lyndon Baines Johnson was the only exception). The Catholic Church had 7 popes during her 70 years as queen.

And of course, Queen Elizabeth II was well-known for her love of dogs. She also owned more than 30 Corgis and Dorgis during her reign – most descended from her first Corgi, Susan, which she received when she turned 18 in 1944.

But for all that she accomplished, and for all the grand things she was known for, it was particularly poignant when her son – the former Prince Charles, now King Charles III – made his first address after ascending to the throne. His words remind us all that she was, after all, a mother and grandmother – and leaves a family in grief.

“To my darling mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this: Thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

This week has been a week of remembering my mom, Pam … She was a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth and a huge fan of tennis. As I watch the US Open this week, I’ve been missing her terribly.

I watched Serena Williams’ amazing career-the supposedly last match…. but knowing Serena, well, you never know… What a remarkable woman who truly broke barriers as she rose to the top in her sport. Among her many other titles, she won the US Open in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

I also watched my mom’s favorite, Rafael Nadal – who won the US Open in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019. He made it to the Round of 16, where he was defeated by Frances Tiafoe.

Among the highlights for me this year has been watching the upcoming talent. Carlos Alcaraz, 19, played the second longest match in US Open history as he fought off Jannik Sinner, 21. The match lasted 5 hours and 15 minutes, ending at 2:50 am. EST.

Watch this 30-sec clip when Alcaraz takes a shot from behind his back and makes the point.

I also thoroughly enjoyed this New York Times article about the match and the next-generation talent tennis fans enjoyed.

Tiafoe and Alcaraz faced off in a thrilling match in the quarter-final Friday night. Tiafoe took an early lead with the first set, but Alcaraz came back in two dominating sets before Alcaraz narrowly won the fourth. Alcaraz won the final set and with it, the match. He will go one to compete in the finals.

Tiafoe was the first American man to reach the semifinals – let alone the quarterfinals – since 2006. Looking forward to seeing more of Tiafoe in future tennis.

I’ve also been following the Artemis program, a moon exploration program led by NASA with a goal to reestablish a human presence on the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Artemis I’s launch has suffered delays, with the next goal to launch between September 23 and October 4.

In his recent column, BC Planetarium director Nick Strobel shared updates on the Artemis program.

“While the Apollo mission was primarily designed as a Cold War competition between two political systems, Artemis’s focus is on lunar science and learning how to build a long-term presence on the moon using as much lunar material as possible, instead of relying solely on materials transported from Earth. That knowledge will enable us to go to Mars a decade or so later.”

Imagine – NASA’s earliest astronauts and scientists, innovating and putting a man on the moon, creating a legacy that soon could see a younger generation of explorers set foot on Mars.

#DaringMightyThings indeed.

Good morning, friends.
It is September 10, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Women’s soccer returns to PC with season opener at Bakersfield

Women’s soccer is officially back in play at Porterville College for the first time in over 20 years! Last Wednesday, the Pirates kicked off the 2022 season with a non-conference game at Bakersfield College.

Porterville returns to action on Friday, September 9th when the Pirates travel to Sacramento City College.

PC will play its next five games on the road before making its home debut on Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. against Fresno City College.

Two PC Administrators Join Leadership Porterville’s Class of 2023

Two Porterville College Administrators were recently selected to join the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. Vice President of Administrative Services Maria Battisti and Director of Enrollment Services Jonathan Miranda were officially inducted into the program at a celebration held at Don Vino’s Italian Restaurant in Porterville on Thursday September 1st.

Leadership Porterville assists the further development of community leaders.  For over 25 years, Leadership Porterville has inspired, developed and connected local leaders. According to their web site, the program’s purpose is “to enable potential and emerging community leaders to positively impact Porterville as interested and informed residents.” 

Both Battisti and Miranda addressed those in attendance during the event. Battisti spoke of her love for the community and that she wants to “feel a part of something bigger than me”. She said she’s called to serve Porterville, PC, and is excited to immerse herself in the community.

Mr. Miranda spoke at length about his family, and his move from Sacramento to the Central Valley. He mentioned how Higher Education provided him with opportunities he wouldn’t take for granted. 

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib said of the celebration, “Wonderful celebration to welcome the Leadership Porterville Class of 2023. PC was well represented; hearing the stories of these emerging leaders was inspiring.”

President Dr. Claudia Habib, VP of Student Services Primavera Arvizu and VP of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell

Cerro Coso Community College

Bitter-sweet Farewell to Lacey

On Thursday, September 9th, 2022, the office of instruction put together a surprise going-away party for Lacey Navarro.

She joined the Career Technical Education staff as an Administrative Secretary in July of 2019 and quickly became indispensable. She applied and competed for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction and of course was offered the position.  Lacey is always welcoming, helpful, caring, kind, and a great team player.

She originally moved to Ridgecrest from Bakersfield in 2019 to join her husband who had been commuting between the two locations for four years.  Now she is following her husband Jorge to Texas where they will make their new home.  

We appreciate everything Lacey has done for Cerro Coso. She will be truly missed.

Cerro Coso wishes her nothing but the best in the future!

This is not a goodbye; it is a see you later!  

Make friends and learn about Latino culture

The Latino’s Unidos Club is ready to reengage with students this fall.  All Cerro Coso students are invited to celebrate and learn about diverse Latino cultures and become part of an on campus family support system for all club members.

Students do not have to be Hispanic or Latino to join this club, simply have an interest in raising their cultural awareness.

Contact advisor Ana Mora at 760-384-6250 / or René Mora at 760-384-6219 / for more information.

Rainbow Club

Do you believe in creating a safer community to learn, live, and grow? Consider joining the Rainbow Club at Cerro Coso.

The goal of the club is to raise awareness, take action, and build relationships while closing equity gaps together.

The Rainbow Club allows persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression and allies of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) persons to obtain support from their peers, staff, faculty, and community.

They aim to unite members and to collaborate with other clubs to establish and maintain a positive and non-judgmental community where all members can fully express their individuality.

They also aim to increase awareness, decrease intolerance, and create a welcoming and accepting environment for all.

Connect with them in Pronto using group code For more info contact Michael Bonner 760-384-6181 /

Constitution Day Lecture: “Is the Constitution Racist and Outdated?”

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens.   

On this day in 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.

Every year, the SGCC commemorates that historic day by hosting an event. This year the SGCC will present a lecture by Professor Matt Jones as he discusses modern perspectives of the US Constitution.

Open to all students at all campuses, students are invited to join them for free pizza and popcorn in the Lecture Center at the Ridgecrest Campus on Wednesday, September 14th @ 12:30pm.  The event will also be available to students at other campuses via Zoom.  Register for zoom access at:

A celebration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the importance of the document today. 

Bakersfield College

Science & Engineering Building Grand Opening

On Wednesday morning, Bakersfield College celebrated the official grand opening of its newest addition on campus and a crown jewel of the Measure J infrastructure bond, the 71,061-square-foot Science & Engineering Building that will house several disciplines like biology and geology, as well as a high-tech robotics lab. 

Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

Expanding STEM education has been a priority for Bakersfield College for the last nine years. The 71,000 square-foot Science and Engineering building is a manifestation of this commitment to providing the spaces and tools to unleash imagination, magnify curiosity, and deepen critical thinking and problem solving for our students.  With this state-of-the-art facility alongside our talented and dedicated faculty, BC students are well positioned for the future.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog

“With this building, we are upholding our responsibility to prepare students for the jobs of the future,” said Kern Community College District Board of Trustees President, Romeo Agbalog. “A few years back, I read a report that said nearly 50% of jobs in the metropolitan Bakersfield area were subject to automation and this new building has never been needed more than right now. As industries innovate and evolve and new industries emerge it’s our duty and responsibility to prepare the workforce of the future; especially if our region intends to lead and compete in a global economy. ”

The three-story Science & Engineering building is home to BC’s Biology, Engineering and Physical Sciences (chemistry, geology and physics) departments, which combined offer more than a dozen associate degrees and degrees for transfer. In addition to classrooms and laboratories for physics, geology, engineering, biology and chemistry, anatomy and more,  the building includes a Makerspace and a state of the art robotics lab. The building’s design features heavy use of glass, allowing for ample natural light, a striking multi-story atrium at the center of the building, interactive spaces and architectural elements throughout that highlight the connection of science to society. In fact, there are multiple secrets built into the building that encourage discovery and learning of the sciences. 

Sonya Christian, Jay Tamsi, Mike Turnipseed
Dr. Steve Waller my partner in the work of expanding STEM education in Kern.

Measure J was a  $502 million infrastructure bond passed by voters throughout the Kern Community College District in 2016 to fund upgrades and modernize the district’s three colleges: Porterville College, Bakersfield College and Cerro Coso Community College. Bakersfield College, the largest of the three institutions, received $415 million to transform a number of new, high impact projects, including a new Campus Center, revamped administrative building and in the coming year, a new welcome center, athletics complex, and agriculture pavilion. 

Check out more photos from the celebration at

Thank you Nicole Parra for leading us through the Measure J work.

Latinos Unidos Por Educación at The California Endowment Youth Awards in Oakland

The Bakersfield College LUPE StudOrg on campus was recognized as one of five youth-led organizations in California and granted the Youth Power Partner Award at the California Endowment Youth Awards this year.

The California Endowment Youth Awards are held in recognition of young leaders who work towards an equitable and healthy future: creating innovative models of service, strengthening local communities, and cultivating youth power.

A special thank you to all the staff from the EOP&S/Categorical Programs who took care of all the logistics to make this memorable event possible for our students.

Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery Reception with Audia Dixon

Audia Yvonne Dixon, Attractive Nuisance, 2021, Oil on Canvas, 65” x 96”

The directors of the Wylie and May Louise Jones Gallery are proud to present Eden, a solo exhibition by Fresno-based artist Audia Yvonne Dixon (b. 1992). This show is a selection of paintings connected to a history of pastoral landscape and portraiture.

Save the Date for the Fall Levan Faculty Colloquium – to honor David Koeth

Save the date for our next Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium. We will honor David Koeth, Emeritus Professor of Art, for his artistic contributions to his field and to our campus.

The Levan Center for the Humanities provides unique opportunities for community college faculty to engage in and promote their scholarly research and/or creative work. Come celebrate Professor Koeth’s accomplishments and show your support for our BC faculty member. More details to follow in the coming weeks.  

Norman Levan Faculty Colloquium: “The Citrus Series: Ideation, Art Making, and Citrus”  

  • Date: Friday, October 7th, 2022  
  • Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Location: Norman Levan Center for the Humanities.

Campus Zoom Center Opens

Bakersfield College is happy to announce that you have a campus location to attend zoom classes on our Panorama Campus! Starting Tuesday, September 6th, the northeast corner of the Computer Commons in the BC Library will be available for students who need a space to participate in their Zoom courses.

​Space is limited and will be first-come-first-serve. Computers and headsets will be available but we encourage you to bring your own. If you aren’t sure where to go, check in at the Renegade Hub or the Circulation desk.


This week, we had another post on the Kern CCD TALE Blog ( This one was written by Porterville College’s Robert Simpkins, on the topic “Room to Fail.”

“Because our work as educators does not occur in isolation and is always embedded in a complex web of changing perspectives, expectations, and requirements, some degree of failure is probably inevitable for instructors, regardless of the number of years of experience in the profession.  Achieving success in the long-term then means that faculty need a support structure that expects occasional failures and supports the correction and experimentation needed to ensure the success of the student learning experience – yet that support system is rarely placed systematically and intentionally for all faculty, including adjunct faculty as well as tenure-track and tenured faculty.”

Check it out at

Jobs Demand Education Blog

On Labor Day, I published my first post in the new JobsDemandEducation blog – a place to share new approaches to workforce and economic development, with a goal of supporting economic mobility for our community while staying committed to the health of our people and the health of our environment.

My first post, “Good Jobs Demand Education,” highlighted part of our Kern CCD delegation trip to the National Resource Energy Laboratory in August, as we work to establish California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL) here. I wrote about Integrated Energy Pathways, one of NREL’s critical objectives.

“During our trip, I learned that one of NREL’s critical objectives is in integrated energy pathways, which involves leveraging innovations in microgrids, clean transportation and other renewables to work in concert with our existing energy infrastructure. To truly create a power sector free of carbon emissions, all of these innovations in renewable energy can’t be siloed. Integrated energy pathways are strategies to modernize the electric grid by taking advantage of new energy storage technologies, connecting the grid to clean transportation infrastructure, and improving grid resilience.”

In the News

Community Voices: Unions help narrow the gender wage gap

Astronomy Professor and Academic Senate President Nick Strobel wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the role unions continue to play in workplace conditions:

“I’m thankful for the faculty union’s collective bargaining agreement that guarantees equal pay for equal work. At the university where I did graduate work, individual professors were able to secure different salary packages and perks than their colleagues. Thanks to the faculty and classified staff unions, our contracts also include a good health care benefits package.”

How much has changed in equality for women?

Community College Daily published my piece about equality for women in higher education.

“According to a 2021 report from Pew Research, the median earnings of women in STEM jobs is 74% of their male counterparts. This is a wider gap compared to the broader labor market. So even when we have women entering the STEM workforce, they are not equally represented in the types of high-paying jobs we see more frequently awarded to men.”

At 50, BC’s Delano campus remains well-traveled pathway for students

The Bakersfield Californian ran this article highlighting BC’s Delano campus, which first began offering classes 50 years ago in September 1972.

“Without this campus, it would’ve been more stressful for a lot of us to handle work or younger siblings or not being able to drive yet,” [student Joanne] Aguirre said. “It would have made us think, ‘Oh, college isn’t for me.’”

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I was able to attend BC’s home football game and spend some time with colleagues:

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib:

“We had a great start for Fall semester, now on the third week. Today we enjoyed a small sweet treat #Paletas #popsicles to celebrate the good work and to cool off in this very hot day #112degrees I am grateful for my team #PCFamily @PCollegePirates @KernCCD”

Fun was had at the New Faculty Reception at Bakersfield College. President Zav Dadabhoy enjoyed welcoming all the new faculty who have joined our Renegade family this fall. I was so pleased to join in the welcome, alongside members of the Kern County Community College District Board of Trustees. Check out some of the photos:

Porterville College advisor Cody Ridenour presented to the Students at Burton Middle School. The school shared this post about his visi:

“Thank you PCollegePirates for presenting to BMS students on college and career paths!”


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Labor Day Weekend 2022

I hope you are all keeping cool the best you can this Labor Day weekend, with temperatures soaring as a heat wave grips much of California. The San Francisco Chronicle published this piece explaining the science behind the heat dome causing these uncomfortable and often dangerous temperatures.

Here is a tidbit about Labor Day:

The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. That event was planned by the Central Labor Union. In the years that followed, 23 more states adopted the holiday. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September a national holiday.

The original founder of Labor Day is disputed – there are disagreements on if the first person to propose Labor Day was Peter J. McGuire (cofounder of the American Federation of Labor) or Matthew Maguire (secretary of the Central Labor Union).

I did not know the reason so many of our national holidays fall on Mondays….The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 changed several holidays to always be observed on Mondays, so federal employees would have more three-day weekends. The Act, signed into law on June 28, 1968, moved Washington’s Birthday Memorial Day and Columbus Day so they would always be on fixed Mondays.

There are now 5 federal holidays that always fall on Monday:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • George Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day)
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day

Well, my weekend will be quiet reading and doing Neo walks early in the morning to miss the heat.

yup … that’s him

Good morning, friends.
It is September 3, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Former Student Talks About Law Enforcement Careers with PC Students

Administration of Justice Instructor Jeff Jacobs introduces
Officer Chapman to the class

Former PC student and current California Highway Patrol Officer Cory Chapman visited our Intro to Administration of Justice students this week to talk career exploration in the CHP and law enforcement.

The students were given the opportunity to hear about his experiences, to ask questions about the CHP, and to learn about some of the over 1000 jobs currently open for recruitment in the agency.

Officer Chapman also discussed some of the requirements of a career in law enforcement, along with the details of being a CHP Officer and the difference between the Highway Patrol, Police, and Sheriff Departments.

He highlighted the importance of continuing education to the students and how various levels of education will allow someone to earn higher pay and find more opportunities for advancement within law enforcement.

Innovative PC Experience Program featured in Inside Higher Education

A unique virtual exchange program spearheaded by PC Business Instructor Dr. Elisa Queenan was highlighted in a recent article from Inside Higher Education. The program allowed students from PC to interact daily with students in Iraq by using technology like Zoom, Slack and WhatsApp to maintain close connections over thousands of miles. Something that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

Queenan is co-teaching the class with Elizabeth Flynn and they have their students with the students in Iraq work together on a project that involved the United Nations’ sustainability goals. Working on this type of project or making connections with people in other countries would have been impossible for many of our students without the use of technology.

“[My students] have very little money. They have very few connections,” said Dr. Queenan, “[Now], they all talk about how incredibly empowered and confident they are to move forward with different ethnicities, different religions, different cultures, how bold they feel about being able to tackle problems that before they would have thought were completely outside of their realm.”

You can learn more about the program and our use of technology to provide world-wide connections for our students in the complete article at

CSU Arts Program Provides Enrichment for PC Students

Submitted by Diran Lyons, PC Professor of Art

Porterville College students Jakeb Marshall, Christian Rivera, and Ayla Mora joined art students from all over California to attend a CSU Summer Arts course titled Art > Anthropocene < Action from June 27 – July 10, 2022. The class focused on a diverse range of environmental topics such as deforestation, wildlife die-off, natural disasters, and climate change as content for works of art. Drawing upon the leadership of course coordinator William Raines, the lectures of art historian Dr. Ron Graziani, and feedback from world-class visiting artists like Charles Gaines, the students experienced the powerful interaction of art and science as these multidisciplinary fields relate to creative experimentation, innovation, and activism. 

Alongside their talented classmates, Marshall, Rivera, and Mora worked diligently to synthesize their thoughts on environmental issues and how art might play a proactive role in improving our ecological state of affairs. Their efforts culminated in an exciting exhibition at Fresno State’s Conley Art Gallery, where tremendous strides as makers and thinkers were on full display.

Cerro Coso Community College

Star Party and Barbecue Slated for Sept. 23rd

It’s Astronomical Barbecue and Star Party time again at Cerro Coso Community College.

The community loves this family friendly fundraising event where they enjoy great food, children’s activities, outdoor games, music, and exposure to the beauty and wonders of the night skies.

This year’s signature event will be held at the Ridgecrest Campus on Friday, September 23, 2022 in the fountain area.

Mark your calendars for this fun-filled fundraiser to benefit Cerro Coso Community College and the Dr. Alexis Shlanta Observatory.

A barbecue dinner will be held in the fountain courtyard from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and the Star Party will get underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Observatory. For those desiring transportation, golf carts will be running continuously to the Observatory and back. Major stars and constellations will be pointed out by college staff, students, and enthusiasts from the China Lake Astronomical Society. There will be telescope stations set up inside the Observatory compound for public viewing and education.

Star parties have been an important part of the amateur astronomy scene for many years. All are invited to enjoy the wonders of the night sky.

Tickets for the event may be purchased online at Ticketspice or the college website at

New this year is the option to purchase beer and wine. Dinner will include a grilled tri-tip sandwich, salad, beans, drink, and dessert for $20.

For more information on this family evening of fun, call the College at 760-384-6262.

The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation is a 501©3 non-profit organization that provides more than $100,000 in scholarships to CC students every year.  They also support the Cerro Coso Promise, special grants, Phi Theta Kappa, and other programs and services of the college.   For more information on the CCCC Foundation contact Natalie Dorrell 760-384-6252 and on the web at .

Cerro Coso Community College Participates in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA of 1989 – also known as the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act – requires higher education institutions to establish policies that address unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs for faculty, staff, and students.

CCCC acknowledges its legal obligation to conduct an annual review of compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and authorized an administrative review to determine if the college fulfills the previously mentioned Federal Regulations requirements.

All members of the Cerro Coso community are encouraged to review the information on the following pages.  This information is distributed on an annual basis.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program

  • Standards of Conduct
  • Legal Sanctions
  • Health Risks
  • Drug and Alcohol Help Resources

Keenan Safe Colleges offers both an employee training portal and a separate student training portal.

Barksdale Returns as Access Counselor

Rachel Barksdale began working at Cerro Coso in the fall of 2014 as an Access Program Assistant.  This is where she developed a passion for working with students, specifically, students with additional barriers in obtaining their goals.  Access Program counselors Anna Mora and Penny Talley recognized her compassion and empathy for students, understanding of student needs, and heart for helping others over come life and academic hurdles, and encouraged Rachel to go back to school to get her master’s degree.

With a strong support system of family, friends, and husband, she returned to Cerro Coso this fall as the new full-time Access Program Counselor at the Ridgecrest Campus replacing Penny who retired in December of 2021. 

In addition to her job at the college, Barksdale works part-time as a mental health therapist at the Ridgecrest Crisis Stabilization unit where she assists children, adolescents, and adults with mental health crises.  

Her motto in life is “be kind, you never know the positive impact you may have on another, just by being kind.”

Cerro Coso is excited to welcome Barksdale back.  She made a big impact on Access Program students before and will continue to do so now as a counselor. 

Bakersfield College

Science & Engineering Building Grand Opening

BC is excited to announce a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the new Science & Engineering Building on the Panorama Campus. The event will take place Wednesday, September 7th at 9:15 a.m. We hope that everyone can join us as we celebrate the opening of this beautiful, brand new facility.

Bakersfield College’s Distinguished Speaker Series Returns

Bakersfield College hosted several in-person events as part of their Welcome Week festivities. One of these events was the return of the Distinguished Speaker series which had been on hiatus since the pandemic.  The guest speaker of the first installment of this year’s series was Aron Ralston, author, wilderness protection advocate, and motivational speaker.

Ralston authored the New York Times best-seller, Between a Rock and a Hard Place which tells his inspirational story of survival after being trapped under an 800-pound boulder for six days without water, means of communication or hope of escape. In 2010, his story was made into the feature film 127 Hours, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture.

Ralston delighted attendees as he shared his story of tragedy, escape, his journey since his life-changing experience, and how he was able to transform “boulders into blessings.”  He also shared his experience with prosthetics, being invited to popular talk-shows, and speaking to thousands worldwide as a motivational speaker. It was amazing to hear first-hand Aron Ralston’s story of perseverance and triumph.

Transfer Day 2022

Bakersfield College will be hosting Transfer Day 2022 in September, which will showcase educational programs of more than 40 colleges and universities. Attendees will get the chance to learn about transfer opportunities and meet campus representatives from Cal State Universities (CSU), University of California (UC) schools, and several other in-state and out-of-state private colleges and universities.  It will be an incredible time for our BC students to plan for their academic journey beyond Bakersfield College.

For more information and a full list of participating schools, visit the Transfer Pathways Webpage.

BC Hosts Student Involvement Festival

This week also saw the return of the Student Involvement Festival. Traditionally, this was the largest event of Welcome Week with hundreds of students and dozens of information tents with information on how to get involved at BC. 

This year’s festival was an amazing success. It featured music, vendors, free swag, resources, and a water slide. Hundreds of students were able to get information about how to be more involved at BC, and how to enhance their educational experience.

BC Kicks Off the Football Season with Home Opener

The BC Athletics Department and football team are excited to welcome back fans to Memorial Stadium this weekend as the 2022 season is set to begin. The Renegades will be taking on LA Pierce on Saturday, September 3rd at 7 pm. (Note: The original kickoff time at 6 PM, but due to high temperatures this has been pushed back to 7 pm. Gates will open at 6 pm.)

This season will feature specific theme nights for our community heroes in Kern County. For the home opener, the Renegades will be honoring first responders, who will receive free admission to the game when they wear their uniforms or show specific ID. For more information about the game, including tickets, parking, tailgating, and more,  please visit the Renegade Athletics Website.

We hope to have a packed stadium to honor our community heroes and cheer on our Renegades!

BC Foundation PANORAMA Newsletter

The September issue of PANORAMA, the BC Foundation’s Newsletter, is available now at

Cheryl Scott, Exec Director, BC Foundation

Highlights this month include:

  • Students are back on campus in full force!
  • New Science & Engineering Building is the hot spot on campus
  • Homecoming Week activities have something for everyone
  • Inaugural Renegade Promenade: Alumni, Family, & Friends Day at BC
  • and more!

Find out more at

USDA Hosts Community Listening Session in Lamont

Kern CCD hosted the USDA’s Rural Development team at a community listening and informational session at the David Head Center in Lamont. At Wednesday’s event, which was titled “Advancing Equity”, USDA Rural Development Specialist Sally Tripp explained all of the housing, education and business development opportunities available to residents of Arvin and Lamont. Rural Development Staff members went on to facilitate small group discussions with community members about the high-priority needs in the area.

Participants at the “Advancing Equity” event at the David Head Center included Trustee Jovani Jimenez, Dolores Huerta, and Arvin Mayor Olivia Trujillo.

Reyna Olaguez, Mayor Olivia Trujillo, Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez

In the News

Channel 23 Features BC’s Renegade Pantry

BC’s Renegade Pantry was featured on a Channel 23 for the wonderful service they are providing for students who are experiencing food insecurity. The story features two BC staff members who play an integral part in operating the Renegade pantry; Isabel Varelas, Pantry Coordinator, and Caitlin Davidson, Program Manager for Basic Needs. Their hard work helps distribute food to hundreds of BC students on a daily basis.  

The pantry also provides other goods including clothing, cleaning supplies, infant nutrition items, and other household items. BC is proud to offer this service to their students in need, and the hope is that it can assist them in reaching their educational goals.

Link to News Story (Channel 23):

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I loved this post from Nicole Parra:

“We have started our mornings- the last 2 weeks- up at 545 am for a 2.5 mile walk. I meditate, organize my thoughts & plan my day-while Bailey is seeing the sights. She does walk close to a mile, but then she is ready for the backpack 🙂 Thank you to my family & friends for welcoming me- so kindly- back home, especially my work family. I am so happy.”

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh posted about the 26th Annual Hispanic Business Conference & Expo hosted by the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Here are a few pics of the Kern CCD/Bakersfield College team.

And check out this new video from Cerro Coso Rocks:


That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


Kern CCD celebrates Women’s Equality Day

In 1971, a joint resolution of Congress designated  August 26th of each year as Women’s Equality Day. Here’s to all women!

Kern CCD Team at the DKG, AAUW and League of Women Voters event celebrating Women’s Equality Day

Good morning, friends.
It is August 27, 2022.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Students Return to Campus for Start of Fall Semester

Energy and excitement were in the air as students returned to in-person learning for the Fall semester at Porterville College this past Monday.

Student Ambassador for PC Veteran’s Services Alicia Vargas expressed her excitement over the return to campus, she said, “It’s so exciting to see people on campus again. I’ve never seen this many people here.”

Leona Fitch is studying business administration. She’s trying to teach her children to “Never give up,” and says it’s all possible. “This is a great college, and the professors work with you to achieve your goals.” The 48-year old returning student is in her second year at PC.

Elizabeth Keele, Health Careers Division Chair and Assistant Professor, was excited to have students back on campus. She said, “Every day is a learning experience”. She then went on to express how excited she was to see the progress on the new Allied Health Building’s construction firsthand. 

For the opening two weeks of the semester, the PC Student Services Department hosts multiple information and resource booths across campus for students.  Many faculty and staff members took time each day to answer student questions, provide information on programs and services, and just get to know the people we serve every day.

PC Information Systems and Business Instructor Jim Carson said, “I’m just excited to see the school bustling again. This will be the first time in two years I’ll be in front of a live classroom.” Carson has been teaching on-line instruction only since the beginning of the pandemic.

CFF Hosts Vaccination Event on Campus for Students

The California Farmworkers Foundation made a stop on the PC Campus on Wednesday to provide a free vaccination clinic to students. The Clinic provided first, second, and third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations as part of our welcome week activities to start the Fall semester. 

Each student who received a vaccination was provided with a $50 gift card.

The California Farmworker Foundation (CFF) was formed to offer and create opportunities that would enable Farmworkers that reside in California to develop personal and professional skills. They model 5 areas with their services: Education, Health & Wellness, Workforce Development, Immigration Services, and Community Engagement. They provided these free vaccinations as part of their community engagement efforts for Tulare County.

Parking is Now Free on Campus for Porterville College Students

As part of our effort to remove barriers to education for our students, parking permits are no longer needed to park on campus for the Fall semester. Permit regulations will NOT be enforced for the Fall by our campus security and permits will not be sold. All other parking regulations are in effect and will be enforced (as outlined on the Porterville College website), but students no longer need to pay to park while attending classes, visiting the library or computer labs, or coming to campus for any reason.  Please contact Porterville College Public Safety with any questions at (559) 791-2440.

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Welcomes students back to campus

Picture: Staffing the welcome table are Outreach Director Katie Bachman, and Promise students Nile Hesson and Jackson Alaniz.

And welcome, new students!

The past two years have been a test of patience and persistence for all. 

As the new semester at Cerro Coso gets underway, we invite all students to be an active part of our campus communities.  Each one brings a unique background and experience that is just as important to share and engage with as what we have to offer in the classrooms.  

One of the best ways to dive into the fall semester is to plug into campus life.  Stay in the know by reading the weekly communication with important dates and events in the Student Need to Know, sent to all college assigned emails.  The college offers a number of resources like financial aid, computer loans, free healthcare, food, job and career coaching and placement, and so much more.  Need help? Just let someone at our One Stop know and they will guide you to the right place for help. 

Outreach Director Katie Bachman and Promise students met students at the entrance to the Ridgecrest Campus to welcome them back with a friendly face, help them navigate the campus, provide refreshments, and offer information on the many, many resources available to help students succeed.   

The world might be coming back to normal but things will never be the same again.  Let’s make it better!  It’s a great time to be a Coyote.

Coyote Cupboard Relocates and Expands

Student workers ready to assist in the new and improved Coyote Cupboard are Wyatt Marvin and Amie Becker.

In order to better support students experiencing food insecurity, Cerro Coso Community College has relocated its food pantry on the Ridgecrest campus.  The Coyote Cupboard has been around for a long time, but now the pantry is available for students to walk in and take a limited number of items off the shelf. The pantry will also have snack items, small meals, sandwiches and more for students to pick up and have a quick bite if needed as well.  Its new home is in West Wing Room 145 across from the fountain on the first floor.  This location provides students with open access during open hours and is more centrally located to where students gather in the Student Center and outside courtyard.

All students will be asked to check in with a student worker before entering the pantry, regardless if you are taking items home or just picking up a snack or meal. A student worker will guide students through the pantry, provide a bag, and whatever else might be needed from the pantry.

The Coyote Cupboard held a soft opening on Thursday, August 25, 2022 from 11am-3pm.  Located in Room 145 of the West Wing, across from the fountain on the first floor. The hours for the Coyote Cupboard:  Monday & Wednesday: 8am-11am and 3:30-5pm; Tuesday: 8am-11am; Thursday: 11am-3pm; and Friday: Closed

Students are asked to check in with a student worker at the front desk and provide their Student ID, and household number.   #CCCares. #WorkingTogetherToEndCollegeHunger

Ludwigsen New Librarian in Tehachapi

Jewell Ludwigsen is the new Librarian for the Tehachapi campus of Cerro Coso.

She spent the last nine years serving as a Librarian with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Ludwigsen moved to California from Tennessee after graduating from the University of Tennessee in 2010.  She spent the majority of her life living in different places like Tennessee, Illinois, Brazil, and Chile, but considers Tennessee her home state.

Excited to engage and assist students at the Tehachapi campus in their educational journey, Ludwigsen is also looking forward to collaborating with educational staff and students to provide the best library and information services to the Cerro Coso community.

Ludwigsen holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.

Welcome to TEAM Cerro Coso Jewell!

Bakersfield College

First Day of Fall: Growing to Keep Up With Rising Needs

On Thursday afternoon, the majority of our 62 new faculty came together to start their BC journey. They were welcomed by President Zav Dadabhoy, VP Imelda Simos-Valdez, and Associate VP Jessica Wojtysiak. Dean Rebecca Farley spoke on the culture of BC and the purpose of our New Faculty Seminars.

We played New Faculty Bingo; Matthew Maddex and Lourdes Aboytes were the envy of everyone when they won dinner for two at the Renegade Room. Thanks, Chef Alex!

New Faculty got an introduction to DSPS and Financial Aid, learned about HR policies, and heard about resources available to our students. This dynamic group will be a force at Bakersfield College. 

Welcome to our 62 newest Renegade Faculty!

Campus is bustling with activity as students have returned for the Fall term.

Industrial Automation Early College Summer Academy

The Bachelors program in Industrial Automation had another successful Early College Summer Academy. Over 50 Early College students from Kern County had the opportunity to take one of the lower division courses from the program in a four-week semester.

Students also participated in four different facility tours with industry partners to witness firsthand what they’re learning in the lab to apply in industry. The four facility tours included Phillips 66 in Taft, Wonderful pistachios and almonds in Lost Hills, Target Distribution Center in Shafter, and Walmart Distribution Center in Shafter. This is the second year for this thriving academy.

Flex Week is a Wrap/Adjunct Faculty Seminar